Unlike the Hellraiser or Children of the Corn or Demonic Toys vs. Dollman franchises, we haven’t seen a hell of a lot of direct-to-video Phantasm sequels in the 16 years since the last one. That makes sense, as Don Coscarelli’s signature series always felt scrappier and somehow more personal than the rest. The story and characters tried to break wide with Phantasm II, but between the balding heroes and the balding villains, it just didn’t happen.

Now we enter a potentially new phase with Phantasm V: Ravager. New, because this is the first film in the series to be directed by someone other than Don Coscarelli. Also new because, by direct-to-video horror sequel standards, they managed to generate a lot of excitement today by cutting through months/years of preproduction bullshit and simply announcing the completion of the film.

Shock Until You Drop announced the director as David Hartman, a guy I’ve honestly never heard of. They mention his involvement with some of Rob Zombie’s projects, but if there’s an IMDB listing for the guy, I can’t find it.

Here are some other details, as outlined by The Phantasm Archives:

  • To reiterate, this project has been filming little by little since 2008.

  • The original working title for several years was “Reggie’s Tales.”

  • The original cast members put in appearances along with some Don Coscarelli regulars.

  • It was partly filmed in Crestline, CA at Reggie Bannister’s own home!

  • Many of the familiar series elements are back… the ‘Cuda and the sphere especially. Oh, yes… there will be blood!

The “filming little by little since 2008” and “filmed…at Reggie Bannister’s own home” would normally give me pause, but like I said, the Phantasm films have always been the scrappiest of the bunch and it stands to reason that this is a labor of love. Will it be any good? It doesn’t seem likely given the circumstances (and the first-time director), but as a Long Beach native, I have to root for this franchise, always and forever. Just gimme my balls, my dwarves, my yellow blood, my balding ice cream men and my booooooooooooys.